Alabama Today

Katie Britt backs balanced budget amendment

By Brandon Moseley

U.S. Senator Katie Britt joined U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and 22 additional Senate cosponsors in introducing a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution to force the President and Congress to pass annual balanced budgets.

The joint resolution, S.J.Res.13, proposes a constitutional amendment to establish requirements for the submission and approval of annual balanced budgets, including guidelines regarding exceeding spending caps and raising taxes.

“Our ballooning national debt is already an economic and security crisis,” said Sen. Britt. “Just this week, President [Joe] Biden proposed an unserious budget that would continue to recklessly pile this burden on the backs of our children and our children’s children. Alabama families balance their household budgets every day, and we must expect the federal government to do the same. It is past time to hold Washington accountable for runaway, wasteful spending that is fueling inflation and endangering our nation’s future.”

“A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution would compel our nation’s leaders and the American people to make difficult choices to get our fiscal house in order,” said Sen. Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee along with Britt. “Our national response to the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated federal spending at a rate that compounds our already serious debt problems. The new deficit spending is a necessary answer to a national health emergency, but it would be completely irresponsible not to establish a strong framework from which to tackle our nation’s long-term fiscal problems—and ultimately the future of this great country.”

The legislation would amend the U.S. Constitution to:
•    Require the President to submit a balanced budget and Congress to pass a balanced budget
•    Restrict federal spending to 18% of the Gross Domestic Product
•    Require a two-thirds majority votes in both the House and Senate to raise taxes
•    Require a new three-fifths majority vote in both houses of Congress to raise the debt limit

On Thursday, President Biden released an outline of his Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal, which would raise taxes by $4.7 trillion and see the gross national debt rise to $50.7 trillion by 2033.

Sens. Britt and Hyde-Smith were both critical of that budget, which made no serious effort to cut the deficit.

“President Biden’s budget proposal is completely out of touch with the harsh reality hardworking Alabamians are facing every day of his term,” said Senator Britt. “Prices have already skyrocketed 14.4% since he took office, while Americans’ personal savings have fallen to a nearly 15-year low. Today, President Biden confirmed that he wants to raise taxes and spend more. His unserious, yet unsurprising, budget proposal only doubles down on the failed tax-and-spend agenda fueling this kitchen table crisis. The people of Alabama know that the federal government does not have a revenue problem; this Administration has a spending problem.”

“The best thing about President Biden’s 2024 budget wish list is that it’s dead on arrival,” said Hyde-Smith. “It is not the serious fiscal blueprint that we need as a nation to deal with the national debt, deficits, national defense, and other critical problems facing the American people. Instead, the President and his administration seem to be divorced from reality by producing a budget plan that doubles down on the runaway spending and taxes that characterized the first half of the Biden presidency.”
President Biden defended his budget.

“My budget will deliver funding to help us lead the world again,” Biden claimed. “My budget also invests in critical issues that matter to families — increasing the supply of affordable housing, lower rental costs, and making it easier to buy a home — all of which will generate economic growth and prosperity.”

“I said to my introducer — he said, “I bought a small home, and I worked on it.”  I said, “Guess what? That’s how every middle-class family came to be,” Biden continued. “Why? Because you build equity in that home. And after two years, five years, ten years, you may have $10-, $20-, $30,000 in equity. You can borrow against it to send a kid to school. You can borrow against it to do a lot of things.”

“And so, folks, look, MAGA Republicans are calling for defunding the police departments and defunding the FBI now,” Biden said. “That’s a good one. I like that one.   Well, guess what? And they refuse to provide funding that is going to keep communities safe and secure. We talk about he- — about crime. Well, it’s outra- — My budget invests in public safety. It includes funding for more training, more support for law enforcement at a time when they’re expected to pay ma- — play many roles.”

The White House claims that the President’s budget will cut the deficit by $3 trillion over the next ten years, but at no time in that decade would the budget ever be balanced. The national debt is $32 trillion now and is climbing. Congress has not passed a balanced budget in 23 years.

Katie Britt is in her first term representing Alabama in the U.S. Senate. Her predecessor, Richard Shelby, introduced a balanced budget amendment every one of the 36 years he was in the Senate, and it never did pass.